Kevin Durant Stays Busy During the Lockout
7:00 AM EDT on November 2, 2011
Coming up with a list of people who have lost out because of the NBA lockout is easy. As of last night (when the Thunder were supposed to open the season versus the Los Angeles Lakers), the players are missing out on paychecks. The owners are losing out on revenues. Businesses surrounding the team arenas are missing the foot traffic brought about by home games. Fans are not getting the world class entertainment they crave. Most importantly, rank and file employees of the teams are losing their menial-wage jobs while the billionaires argue with their millionaire employees over how much money each side is entitled to receive.
Only one man has taken the debacle and thrived on the stalemate: Kevin Durant.
For a man whose life time earnings are probably going to be reduced by about 15% as a result of the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) that will come from this lockout, Durant has still managed to make the most of the situation. While the owners have fertilized the situation with financial statements bordering on fradulent and the Player's Association pretended that a 20% cut in their pay was akin to slavery, the Thunder star has stayed above the fray.
Early in the Summer, he joined in a virtual nationwide street ball tour, dominating playground basketball leagues from L.A., to D.C., to NY. Then he started doing exhibition games with other NBA players--normally for charity--where he outplayed LeBron James. (And James' effort generally has a reverse correlation to the stakes involved, so he was at his best.) All the goodwill generated from KD playing for free earned him enough favors to organize what will be the closest the 405 ever comes to hosting an All Star game.
Now basketball with nothing at stake is apparently starting to bore him. Monday night on Twitter, Durant made what everyone expected to be a joke about wanting to join a flag football league. Everyone either laughed at, or ignored, the plea except for a Sigma Nu member at OSU who jokingly offered the NBA superstar a roster spot at his team's intramural game.
A few hours later, Durant pulled his minivan into the parking lot of the Snake House in Stillwater.
The rest can be seen in the embedded YouTube clip above, but in summary, it was only a step above a real version of this promotional photo he did for Nike:
With the boredom kicking in, we came up with a few other things Durant could do to occupy his time until the NBA powers-that-be come to their senses.
Go Door-to-Door in Oklahoma City and sign one thing at every house
I imagine this would turn into a pied piper sort of situation where the first kid shooting baskets on the driveway who sees him walk up to the door follows him to the next house. By the time KD gets a couple of streets down, he has enough children following him that it blocks off May Avenue. At minimum, the publicity stunt raises his Q-score. Also very likely, it makes a bunch of people who aren't in the cockiest fraternity at OSU happy.
Direct Traffic at Whole Foods
The only difference between an anarchist riot and the parking lot at the new Whole Foods is that rich people participate in the latter. I don't know that Durant's participation would help to improve the situation, but his father is a security guard, so maybe he's learned from osmosis.
Co-host "Lost Ogle Trivia" at The Speakeasy and/or O'Connells
This isn't a self-serving suggestion, at all.
Help Out the Video Vigilante
Back when Shaq was a basketball player, he spent his free time working as a volunteer sheriff. That seems kind of dangerous. Instead of risking getting shot at by actual criminals, Durant should help Brian Bates expose people who are voluntarily conducting business. Bates, who considers himself more of a "commercial activist" than a vigilante, could use the exposure (pun not intended) Durant's involvement would bring him to sell videos. Meanwhile, instead of the Johns driving off the second Bates yells, "You're busted buddy!" they would hop out and try to shake KD's hand while their junk was still hanging out of their pants.
Actually, that sounds kind of dangerous, too.
Book Birthday Parties
...and do it cheaper than Rumble. Coincidentally, the ClarkPupp has a big birthday coming up.
Run in the Special Election to Replace Andrew Rice
State senate minority leader Andrew Rice has decided to leave the state of Oklahoma for a place where Democrats are not more endangered than the Hawaiian Monk Seal. I imagine that Durant is pretty apolitical, but he isn't very busy right now, and he could win. Plus he has experience dragging around a weak supporting cast as he showed during the Thunder's first season.
Enter the "Clark Matthews Full Contact Checkers Tournament"
Plus, if he has any favors still outstanding from his exhibition tour, I will also allow his NBA friends to enter.
Slap Jim Traber
This doesn't actually have to occur during the lockout. If he wants to carve out some time when he gets busier, it still might be fun.